Monday, March 21, 2016
One more story about insulation and access, and it will then launch into modern day politics.
The year was 1988. Democratic vice presidential candidate candidate Lloyd Bentsen was campaigning at Wilkes College. It wasn't a university yet. The Texan gave the standard rally speech. Yawn. He wasn't big on answering spontaneous question from the media, so I planted myself, along with my big WARM microphone and tape recorder outside the side door Bentsen would be exiting.
He came out the door after the rally. I asked him about a poll showing the Dukakis/Bentsen ticket would get hammered in the south. Bentsen was put on the ticket to bring some southern strength and geographic balance. Bentsen went up one side of me and down the other. I loved every second. I was getting yelled at by one of the most powerful people in the country. It was great radio.
That night, I was talking to a radio friend in Harrisburg, by phone. She said "I heard you p-o'd Lloyd Bentsen."
Could I do that today? Never. Security is too tight. The handlers would have me removed.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Donald Trump presidential campaign. I don't know about access. Trump has yet to visit our area. From what I read, it's not a media friendly campaign.
On the other hand, Trump often runs without a script and is the king of spontaneity. You don't get the standard stuff. Trump bosses his handlers, not the other way around.
I'm sure you've listened to the candidates and I've spoken to several over the years-- everyone from school board and council, right to the very top. They don't answer questions. They give you what they want to say, not a response to the question you asked, no matter how hard you try. If you persist, some handler will say "Your time is up."
Donald Trump is brash and he's blunt. He's the anti candidate.
Pundits have wasted countless cable television and Sunday morning broadcast hours yammering on about this. It's all so simple. A lot of people are tired of the "same old." It's left the door wide open for Donald Trump. It's not a 2016 thing. The seeds for a "break the mold" candidate like Trump were planted years ago.
AT 12:00 AM